The Life of Princess Elizabeth Alexandra Mary Windsor


Iris Weizer '26, Staff Writer

After receiving the news that Queen Elizabeth II passed away on September 8, 2022, I wondered what she was doing at my age, though it is difficult to imagine that Queen Elizabeth II was once as young as we are. Yet I found that there was a time in her life where she too had to overcome “high school challenges,” although they were not the typical ones we experience today. Instead of spending time on finding friends or doing well at school, Queen Elizabeth II struggled to lead her country through World War II. 

The Second World War began when Princess Elizabeth was thirteen years old. To avoid the Blitz, the Princess and her sister were relocated with many other children who were separated from their parents due to the intense bombing. Most children were relocated to North America for safety, but instead Princess Elizabeth and her sister stayed in England at Windsor Castle.  While at Windsor Castle, Princess Elizabeth did not participate in any public engagements for a year. However, she would soon step into the public’s eye and find a way to help thousands of people.

Instead of entering freshman year of high school, struggling to locate her next class, the princess assumed her role as a leader. In 1940, at the age of fourteen, the princess gave a radio address to the nation. In the speech, she encouraged children who were separated from their parents due to the Blitz, asking them to stay strong in a time full of separation, stress, and anxiety.  During the war, Princess Elizabeth and her sister became symbols of hope and confidence throughout the country.

Two years later, Elizabeth became the honorary colonel of the Grenadier Guards. This was her first public engagement, and her job was to inspect the parade and show the royal family’s effort in WWII. In the final year of the war, Princess Elizabeth herself joined the Auxiliary Territorial Service and learned simple motor mechanics and how to drive a lorry. Princess Elizabeth’s time in the ATS was groundbreaking, since she, as a royal, participated and was treated in the same way that every other member was.

After the war, the Princess took on additional public responsibilities and lived a relatively normal life. She often participated in public affairs like her political tour in Kenya in 1952. However, it was during that tour that the princess’s life would take a drastic turn. Elizabeth received the news that her father King George VI had died and that she was now the Queen of England. 

Before this tragic incident, the princess never thought she would ascend to the throne. Her uncle and his family were next in line, removing most possibility for her to rule. However, in 1936, Princess Elizabeth’s uncle, King Edward, fell in love with Wallis Simpson. The British government, the press, and some of the general public, though, looked down on Simpson because she was divorced, causing King Edward to abdicate the throne after only one year as king.

When Elizabeth heard the news of her father’s death, she was devastated, though she had little time to mourn. The once Princess Elizabeth quickly became Queen Elizabeth, and she immediately returned to England to officially step into her new role. 

Queen Elizabeth’s achievements in her early years of life serve as inspiration to teenagers today. I have a deep respect for her and all the things that she achieved at this young and difficult age.